Paul Merson has slammed the team selection of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho n his side’s 2–1 defeat to Huddersfield Town.
The Reds were unbeaten in the Premier League going into Saturday afternoon’s game at the John Smith’s Stadium, but came away humiliated, having not been beaten by Huddersfield previously for over 60 years.
Mourinho changed a number of players from Wednesday’s 1–0 victory against Portuguese champions Benfica in the UEFA Champions League, but hardly made wholesale or drastic changes.
The Portuguese has been hampered in his team selection by a number of injuries to key players, including Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini.
Merson, though, attacked the United boss for playing two holding midfielders on Saturday, speaking on Sky Sports.
“I think he got it wrong with his team selection, if I’m being honest,” Merson said.
“I think Mkhitaryan’s got to play and Rashford’s got to play.
“I don’t think Lingard or Martial are as good as them two.
“Playing two holding midfield players against Huddersfield when they’re going to have a lot of the ball, it played into Huddersfield’s hands and fair play to Huddersfield.
“I’ve watched Huddersfield a few times this season and they’ve gone to squeeze teams from the goalie and teams have bopped it around them and been away.
“Today they just sat back in their own half and let Manchester United roll it across the halfway line and all of a sudden Mooy went for it, nicked it off Mata.”
Mourinho hardly had much choice with his team selection, and it was individual errors that led to both Huddersfield’s two goals.
With proper and Fellini out, United had very few other options in midfield apart from Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera. The only options Mourinho really had was up front, where he started Anthony Martial in place of Marcus Rashford.
Merson, though, has clearly not seen the poor form of Henrikh Mkhitaryan in recent weeks and throughout the season, to be suggesting they should be starting for United. The Armenian came on at half-time for United, and failed to impress after that point as well.